Dealing with DUI

Second DUI

Second DUI
If you are unfortunate enough to be charged with a second DUI offense, you can expect that the penalty on conviction will be more severe than the first time around. Judges don't look kindly on people who didn't learn their lesson the first time around, and want to be sure that the same person doesn't end up in court on a similar charge again.

Insurance rates will also be affected by a second conviction, and the person accused of this offense will want to vigorously defend themselves against the charges.

Definition of DUI
DUI means "Driving Under the Influence." This offense includes operating a motor vehicle after consuming alcohol, but a person who has used drugs, either prescribed or bought illegally, may be charged. Any substance that affects a person's ability to operate a motor vehicle safely can contribute to this type of charge being brought against a driver.

Second DUI Penalties: Illinois
The penalties imposed for a second DUI conviction vary, depending on the individual state. For example, under Illinois law a person who is convicted a second time for this offense within 20 years of the time will not necessarily sentenced to more jail time; in each instance, the judge may order the offender to serve up to a year in jail.

The maximum fine imposed remains the same (up to $1,000), but a second conviction means the individual's driving privileges will be suspended for three years as opposed to 365 days.

DUI Penalties: California
Under California law, a second conviction for DUI means the driver is required to serve at least 96 hours in jail. First offenders in that state must spend at least 48 hours behind bars. Some judges in that state will sentence second-time offenders to between 10-30 days in jail.

Fines and Restricted License
Drivers in California will also need to pay a fine along with spending time in jail. The fine for a second offense ranges from $1,800-$2,800; first-timers will need to pay $1,400-$1,800 in fines. A second DUI conviction in CA will also mean loss of driving privileges for two years instead of the six months that a first-timer has to wait before getting behind the wheel.

Insurance Rates and Second DUI Conviction
If you were fortunate enough be kept as a client by your car insurance company and only charged higher rates after the first conviction, be prepared for harsher treatment after the second conviction. The insurer may simply cancel your policy outright. Your criminal record will mark you as a high-risk driver for insurance purposes, and getting coverage once your license has been reinstated may be challenging.

High Risk Driver Coverage
There are some insurance companies that specialize in high-risk drivers, but be prepared to pay much higher rates for the privilege of being covered. The more times you are convicted on DUI charges, the higher the consequences, including being able to  find an insurance company willing to take the risk of providing insurance coverage.